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Mad Dog

Kelley, Jack

4 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 0689121458 / ISBN 13: 9780689121456
Published by Atheneum, New York, 1992
Condition: Fine Hardcover
From Green Toad, Books (Pahrump, NV, U.S.A.)

AbeBooks Seller Since September 29, 2000

Quantity Available: 1

About this Item

Cracks through the legend and lets the reader catch a glimpse of the real John Dillinger. It is essential reading for anyone interested in the lives of Depression era outlaws. Bookseller Inventory # 5298

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Mad Dog

Publisher: Atheneum, New York

Publication Date: 1992

Binding: Hard Cover

Book Condition:Fine

Dust Jacket Condition: Fine

Edition: First Edition

About this title


An old man looks back on his youth, describing the night he was mistaken for Public Enemy Number One John Dillinger, saved from lynching, and inspired to begin a carnival show based on Dillinger's exploits.

From Kirkus Reviews:

While John Dillinger roams the Midwest robbing banks and breaking hearts, a minor flimflam man takes the Hoosier as his role model and finds professional success--in this melancholy criminal study by the author of Apalachin (1987) and Protection (1989). The nameless co-protagonist of Kelly's deft study of unsophisticated crime in an unsophisticated place and time is a down-at-the-heels con artist--one who makes his living selling miraculous, vaguely electric ``Kaiser Belts'' to impotent rubes until he is arrested and nearly lynched after being mistaken for America's most wanted criminal. The medicine man takes his sketchy resemblance to Dillinger to a one-ring circus and builds a successful sideshow act impersonating the bank robber, portraying his latest crimes, and telling the folks how he feels. The circus and the criminal work the same territory--the underpopulated and underpaid heart of America at the height of the Depression-- allowing the impersonator to get closer and closer to his model, eventually even meeting Billie Frechette, Dillinger's half-Indian mistress. Abandoned by Dillinger shortly before his Main Street execution, Billie herself turns to the performance circuit, parading before the crowds of small-town people who instinctively recognized her boyfriend as one of their own and who can never hear enough about him. Kelly occasionally succumbs to the temptations of poetry and elevated style, but for the most part he is bang-on in this poignant black-and-white sketch of inept crimes, modest criminals, and gray times. -- Copyright ©1992, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

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